El Greco record as Russians buy up Sotheby's auction
The Sotheby’s sale of Old Master & British Paintings raised
more than $50 million.
Clients from 33 countries participated in the sale with a record
number of registered bidders from Asia and the Middle East,
Bloomberg reports. Almost 30 percent of the works were bought by
Russian-speaking clients from the CIS states, Sotheby’s says.
"The number of Russian purchases in both the art of the old
masters as well as in other areas, has increased
remarkably. Last year the number of bidders and buyers in
the most prestigious categories of Sotheby's, Impressionist and
Modern Art, Contemporary Art, and Old Masters increased by
25%", RIA Novosti quotes the auction house as saying.
A Russian telephone bidder fought off an Asian client to pay a
top price of $14 million for the painting of St. Dominic by El
Greco. The price, almost double the highest estimate, set an
auction record for the 16th-century painter. The same buyer spent
another $5 million on a crucifixion scene by El Greco, Bloomberg
“Russians are getting into Old Masters,” Bloomberg quotes
the Amsterdam-based art consultant Johan Bosch van Rosenthal .
“They’re well-advised and are buying the triple-A lots.
They’re spreading their wealth by buying top-quality in any area
of the market.”
Sotheby's contemporary art auction a week ago brought in $117
million proving that the art market is out of recession, the WSJ
reports. But collectors are still wary of overpriced works by
high-profile names that would have been easily sold in the
pre-crisis boom, according to the report.